Tag: 2021 June Quote of the Day

QOTD: Words Have Value


“Equally clear is the right to hear. To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker. It is just as criminal to rob a man of his right to speak and hear as it would be to rob him of his money.”

—Frederick Douglass

Kap He Chom Khrueang Khao Wan–กาพย์เห่ชมเครื่องคาวหวาน


Massaman, a curry made by my beloved,
Is fragrant of cumin and strong spices.
Any man who has swallowed—
the curry is bound to long for her.

The title of today’s post, Kap He Chom Khrueang Khao Wan, means, in English, “A Procession Poem Admiring Sweet and Savory Dishes,” and refers to a poem of lamentation for his dead lover, written by Siam’s (now known as Thailand) Prince Itsarasunthon–later King Rama II–in 1800.

Quote of the Day: Shoeshine Boys


“He was dressed as if everything he wore had come from a rummage sale, except that the crease in his trousers was sharp and his shoes were shined.” — Beverly Cleary

That’s not me in the photo above.  It’s just some anonymous kid in a photo I found on Google. But it could be me.  It’s the right era and I used to look something like that when I shined shoes.  At one time, I could even bend my legs backward like that.  But there is one thing out of place:  I never had a client who dressed that well.

My clients were usually drunk.  For a few summers around 1950, Red and I, carting around our little homemade shoeshine boxes, shined the shoes of the patrons of the dive bars on Compton Boulevard near the LA River.

Quote of the Day: Provincialism


New Yorker Cover Map“I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know anyone who voted for him.”
— Pauline Kael misquote

You have probably heard this quote, or a variation. It points to a particular form of provincialism, a view from within a bubble that blocks out all the disagreeable peoples’ opinions. The real quote seems to reflect some self-awareness, perhaps with self-satisfaction, about the speaker’s separation from those with whom she disagrees. It significantly predates things like the internet and social media, much blamed for echo chambers and halls of mirrors around our minds. Consider the quote, the context, and a few implications.

The quote: Pauline Kael was a film critic for The New Yorker from 1968 to 1991. So, she started the year Nixon first won a presidential election. That should, perhaps, have cued her to the larger society beyond Manhattan. Kael’s infamous comment came after the 1972 election, when Nixon obliterated McGovern in 1972.

Quote of the Day: The Empty People


“From the moment I joined @LokiOfficial it was very important to me, and my goal, to acknowledge Loki was bisexual. It is a part of who he is and who I am too. I know this is a small step but I’m happy, and heart is so full, to say that this is now Canon in MCU.”
Kate Herron, Twitter

“Belief in yourself is more important than endless worries of what others think of you. Value yourself and others will value you. Validation is best that comes from within.”
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Dreams in a Time of War

Quote of the Day: Partiality


balanced scales justiceAnd I charged your judges at that time, ‘Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him. You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God’s. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’
— Deuteronomy 1:16-17 (ESV)

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.  For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
— James 2: 1-4 (ESV)

As Critical Race Theory is imported even into the Southern Baptist Convention, despite deceptive denials from the previous and new leadership, it is worth going back to the texts the Christian church has long professed to reverence as the Word of God. Racism and sexism are not “sins” named in the scriptures. Instead, what is consistently condemned and prohibited is “partiality” or “favoritism” in judging between people or deciding how to treat them.

Quote of the Day: Summer Daze


“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.” — Lucy Maud Montgomery

Eventually, quite boring, I expect.  But I do understand the sentiment.  Even though we’re sweltering here in the mid-90s at the moment, with humidity almost as high, and I’ve assumed my English “summer privilege,” which has me sweating like a horse from the moment the temperature reaches the mid-60s until the first snow, and complaining about the scorching heat the entire time.

I Love You, Dad


Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters, there is something which there are no words to express.

So said Joseph Addison, seventeenth-century essayist, playwright, and politician who, alongside his friend Richard Steele, founded the first Spectator magazine in 1711.  Pretty smart for such an old-timer.

Happy Father’s Day to Dads here and everywhere.  Treasure each other, hug each other, love each other.  And don’t forget to say it.  Life is short and unpredictable.  Regret is forever.  Don’t be that guy.  Or that gal.

Quote of the Day: Chivalry as “Art” Rather Than “Nature”


The medieval ideal brought together two things which have no natural tendency to gravitate towards one another.  It brought them together for that very reason.  It taught humility and forbearance to the great warrior because everyone knew by experience how much he usually needed that lesson.  It demanded valour of the urbane and modest man because everyone knew that he was as likely as not to be a milksop.

I can’t help thinking, when I read this passage from C.S. Lewis’s short essay, “The Necessity of Chivalry,” (now published as part of a collection titled Present Concerns), of a few of my favorite war movies, some of which feature heroes of extraordinary bravery and fortitude combined with a sense of “humility and forbearance,” and some of which feature everyday men and women engaging in, however small or local, acts of “valor.”  (The fact that these sorts of movies are my favorites probably explains why I’m not wild about movies that, start to finish, are nothing more than unremitting violent bloodbaths.)  As Lewis puts it:

If we cannot produce Launcelots, humanity falls into two sections–those who can deal in blood and iron but cannot be “meek in hall”, and those who are “meek in hall” but useless in battle–for the third class, who are both brutal in peace and cowardly in war, need not here be discussed. When this disassociation of the two halves of Launcelot occurs, history becomes a horribly simple affair. The ancient history of the Near East is like that. Hardy barbarians swarm down from their highlands and obliterate a civilization. Then they become civilized themselves and go soft. Then a new wave of barbarians comes down and obliterates them.  Then the cycle begins over again.  Modern machinery will not change this cycle; it will only enable the same thing to happen on a larger scale.  Indeed, nothing much else can ever happen if the ‘stern’ and the ‘meek’ fall into two mutually exclusive classes.  And never forget that this is their natural condition.  The man who combines both characters–the knight–is a work not of nature but of art; of that art which has human beings, instead of canvas or marble, for its medium.

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Wait?  What?  I hear you all saying.  It’s only the 16th.  Doesn’t that mean we have a fortnight, two weeks, fourteen days left?  For Pete’s sake, She, the sand in our hourglasses is running out fast enough; don’t pull one of those Julian/Gregorian calendar tricks on us and leave us rioting, trying to figure out […]

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You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream. — C.S. Lewis The notepad on my desk is perfect for jotting down the quick notes, reminders, and tasks I need to remember. For someone whose brain leans aggressively in the direction of ADHD, it’s a valuable (and necessary) tool to […]

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Moons, and Junes, and ferris wheels, the dizzy dancing way you feel… I do love this song, although I’ve never been a big Joni Mitchell fan, finding her, at least in her younger years, far too dependent on tricks, ruffles, flourishes and vocal slides which detract from and spoil (IMHO) an otherwise very good voice.  […]

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“When the politicians complain that TV turns the proceedings into a circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there, and that TV has merely demonstrated that not all the performers are well trained.” —Edward R. Murrow I often here people complain about how confirmation and investigation hearings are TV performances.  True […]

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QOTD: “Lucky you” (Harry Potter)


I don’t know how many Harry Potter fans are on Ricochet, considering that I’ve never seen a post about it before, but as a typical millennial, it’s probably my favorite book series. I’m currently listening to them on audiobook for the first time (the Jim Dale versions), and I recently finished book 5, Order of the Phoenix. As always, this particular conversation between Ginny and Harry jumped out at me, and since it includes one of my favorite quotes from the entire series, I thought I’d share: 

“We wanted to talk to you, Harry,” said Ginny, “but as you’ve been hiding ever since we got back–”

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“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.  Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender’s poem.  You are men who in your […]

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Quote of the Day: Fallen from the Pedestal


“Time makes heroes but dissolves celebrities.” — Daniel J. Boorstin

During the beginning of the pandemic, I was seriously worried.  Things were not going well, and a lot of the Democrats seemed to be more interested in virtue signaling than disease control.  As someone trained in public health, I know that epidemics need to be managed aggressively.  Contrary to what many people say, you can stop a virus from spreading with proper quarantine and infection control practices.  Trump was taking decisive action on border control  (similar measures of containment have been used throughout history), but he needed a trusted advisor who knew about fighting disease.  Then we saw the nightmare in Italy, and people really wanted to avoid it.

Quote of the Day: ‘Don’t Give Up the Ship!’


Today I would love to tell you a rich and layered tale of good ship design, poor ship design, arrogance, and more arrogance that led to death, loss, and destruction. But I am not going to tell you that rich and layered tale. It would take a book or two to tell it properly, and I have other books to write. Thus I shall keep this simple.

On the First of June in 1813, the USS Chesapeake set to sea from Boston Harbor and met the waiting HMS Shannon. It was during the War of 1812 when we were at war with the UK. HMS Shannon had a much better-trained crew, drilled in gunnery by their captain, Philip Broke (pronounced Brook). The Shannon won the duel and captured Chesapeake, which was later taken into the Royal Navy as HMS Chesapeake and a mere six years later was sold out of the service, broken up, and the timbers were used to build a mill which still stands today in Wickham, England, UK, as a gift shop and tea room.